Personal injury claims are intended to financially compensate individuals who have suffered harm as a direct result of another individuals negligent actions. The compensation is meant to assist with medical bills, future needs considerations and pain and suffering. An individuals pain and suffering may be life long depending on the injury and this could well have hindered their ability to work, study or engage meaningfully in their life.
What type of lawyer should I see?
If you are wanting to make a personal injury claim then you will need to seek advice and assistance from a firm with personal injury lawyers. Personal injury law is complex as the evidence required to successfully claim compensation can be extensive. Seeking advice from expert personal injury lawyers will give you the best chance of success.
Your personal injury lawyer can advise the following;
- Whether you meet the criteria to claim compensation?;
- What type of claim you need to make (i.e. Types of personal injury may be workers compensation claim, public liability claim, medical negligence claim, etc)?;
- What the maximum compensation you can receive is?;
- Whether you should accept a settlement proposal?.
It is important to be upfront and honest with your lawyer about all the circumstances of the accident or incident so that they can give you the best advice. A successful personal injury claim is most achievable when there are no surprises.
In some situations, personal injury lawyers will act for you on the basis of a no win no fee situation. This means that if your claim is not successful they will not charge you for the legal work they have done.
How Do I know If I meet the criteria for a Personal Injury Claim?
To meet the absolute minimum criteria, an individual must have suffered an injury as a direct result of another individuals negligence. An example of this may be a car accident whereby the driver hits a pedestrian after running a red light. The injury can be either life long or a full recovery can be made as it does not change the way the injury was sustained.
In order to fully meet the criteria for successful personal injury compensation claims however your injury needs to be supported by extensive medical evidence. We will discuss this further below.
What Type of medical evidence will I need?
When making any claim for personal injury compensation, the personal injury claim must be a direct result of someone else’s negligence. In the circumstances of motor vehicle accidents, this means that your blood alcohol and speed cannot be a factor in the accident because the individual you have filed against will be looking for any and all opportunities to highlight your own personal negligence.
You will need to provide medical reports and medical treatment evidence which explains what your injury is, exactly how it was sustained and how it is being treated. Evidence will need to be produced regarding whether the injury is permanent or recoverable.
What If i am injured in a workplace accident?
Negligence in the workplace usually falls under the banner of workers compensation however there are situations where this is not provided automatically and you will need to file a claim to receive worker’s compensation. In this instance, your claim may not be against an individual and rather be against a company or business.
The same situation will apply however where you will need to provide medical evidence inclusive of, medical treatment paperwork, evidence of medial expenses and financial stress and evidence regarding the severity of the injury. This may also open you up to employment law issues depending on the situation.
What is the difference if i need to make a medical negligence claim?
Medical negligence claims result when a person has undergone a medical procedure or has received medical care but the medical professional has been negligent in their actions and caused either harm or impairment.
These types of matters are perhaps the most difficult as medical procedures already carry a certain level of risk and it is unavoidable that sometimes decision may need to be made during surgery that have consequences. In all cases, medical professionals will do their best to ascertain consent before performing any modifications to procedures howsoever sometimes they become life saving measures.
If you receive medical treatment however where you believe the medical professional has been negligent then it is important to engage in the right process. Medical professionals are subject to Professional standards legislation regarding their actions a breach of this would be a serious infraction.
You will likely need to seek a second opinion to begin compiling evidence and you may need to be examined by other physicians and/or specialists so that they can act as your medical expert during the litigation. As the injured person, it is your responsibility to prove that medical negligence has occurred.
is there a time limit for making a claim?
There is a time limit regarding the making of a compensation claim due to either personal injury or medical negligence. For personal injury, all claims must be made within three years of the date of the injury. This can often be challenging as the injury needs to have stabilized prior to an individual being able to claim for pain and suffering.
For medical negligence, the claim must be made within three years of either discovery of injury or diagnosis. This is to account for the fact that some situations do not have recognizable symptoms and it can be some time before the adverse effects of the negligence are discovered.
There are some exceptions to this time limit in the circumstances of injury to children and or those with a disability. Any potential personal injury compensation claim should be discussed with a personal injury lawyer or team of personal injury lawyers at length prior to the commencement of proceedings.